Sunday, 28 August 2016

Resistance is a Necessary Struggle to Learning

Brookfield talks about "resistance" on page 232 of the 2nd edition. "Resistance is Normal", the subtitle states. It's important in my field, teaching the basics of computer literacy to those who otherwise wouldn't have had it, to put it on the table.

People are often unwilling to learn how things work, especially if they can call a hotline and yell at some poor soul until it's magically fixed. However, I know this can be hard. I've worked years in technical support, and I have the patience and tolerance, almost as good as my wife (she puts up with me every single day).

I can talk about my own resistance to learning. I hated math, and I hated it because of my teachers. Until I found one that really spoke to me, and taught me a non-stupid way of learning math, I had no interest in it and honestly believed I couldn't do it.

I want to bring up open conversation, and have people not hide who they are, or be afraid to ask questions. When it comes to learning a new language and set of skills that works both the brain and the hands, there aren't really any dumb questions.

For example, I've had students who didn't know how to plug in a USB device, or what it was used for. They had no idea they could back up files on a USB drive, or that a USB drive was actually a portable hard drive. They simply have been using basic word processing at work and driven so hard into it that they never actually learned how to use a computer. They knew about "turning it off and on again", but had no idea there was a 'reset' button, or a 'Restart' option in Windows or why it was there.

It's my goal to help people understand these basics, and to bring them up to speed so they don't waste any more time, effort, or stress. I want to help make technology less scary, and instill confidence in our average users.

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